Despite how I categorized this recipe post I do not consider kÄ±sÄ±r as a salad but a whole meal for itself. A very common summer night meal for us as I can grab most of what is needed from our garden. It blends best flavored vegetable/herbs summer offers with bulgur.
This recipe is similar to a well known Middle Eastern tabouleh (or any other spelling?) I have encountered when I moved to the States. Some might argue they are the same dish, but the amount of parsley in kÄ±sÄ±r is no where close to that of in tabouleh, and I think there is no tomato or pepper paste in the non-Turkish version of this great mix.
As I mentioned many times before, bulgur is an essential ingredient in Turkish cooking. Comes in different sizes, but this recipe calls for the fine bulgur which is the smallest size. Yes, you can definitely make it from the coarse variety but it will not be the same. Similarly, use the freshest tomato and herbs you can find. Once I was craving for this when I was living in Milwaukee, in a winter day and I have used canned tomatos. No, it is not good at all! One should never use canned tomatos for this.
You will notice that lemon juice is used in this recipe, you can substitute it with pomegranate concentrate if you like. That’s how it is prepared in scarce of lemon or to give it a different flavor.
Without further ado, let me give you the recipe that I just put together. Never mind the exact measurements; just adjust to what you have at hand at that time, and to your taste. I can honestly tell you that this is not the exact recipe I use every time I make it. All I measure is the bulgur/water ratio.
- 1.5 cups fine bulgur
- 1 cup boiling water
- 5 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 medium onion (~ 200gr)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp red pepper paste
- 3 medium size sweet green peppers (anaheim or bell pepper)
- 250 gr tomato
- 100 – 150 gr cucumber (choose the smallest ones)
- half a bunch of fresh parsley
- half a bunch of fresh mint
- 3 – 4 stalks of green onions
- salt to taste
- Put the bulgur in a big bowl, pour over the boiling cup of water and 2 Tbs of lemon juice. At this point, if you had any tomato juice, you could also use some of it instead of plain water. Cover with a pot cover or saran wrap, set aside
- Cut the onion and peppers in small chunks. Heat the oil, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the peppers, cook a bit more and lastly add the tomato and red pepper paste. Cook about 3 – 4 mins. Here, you can omit cooking the peppers and mix in later on, if you like. Let the mix cool
- Cut the tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, mint and parsley in small pieces. Mix all together with the rest of the lemon juice
- Add the onion mix into the bulgur which should be softer now. After giving a thorough mix, add the fresh ingredients’ mix and give it a good mix, too
- Taste, if you think it can take more salt (pastes are salty) or lemon juice, don’t be shy
- Chill until serving
It is actually served with grape or lettuce leaves, depending on the season. I didn’t have either of them (or the cucumbers) at home at this time.